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Illinois natives and ‘brothers in faith’ envision 12-part TV series on Fulton Sheen

Both natives of central Illinois and sons of permanent deacons of the Diocese of Peoria, Dieterich Gray (left) and Sean Patrick Fahey (right) didn't really get to know each other until they moved to Los Angeles for work in television and film. Now they're a creative team hoping to bring Venerable Fulton Sheen to a new generation. (Provided photo)

Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen will be introduced to a whole new generation if Sean Patrick Fahey and Dieterich Gray have anything to say about it. The central Illinois natives have spent the last six years getting to know Fulton Sheen and developing “Wolves & Sheep,” which they envision as a 12-part series that will explore […]

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St. Francis ‘sunk his hooks into me,’ says troubador in return to Peoria parish

Dressed in a simple habit, James Twyman sings about peace and love as he channels St. Francis of Assisi during "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" at Holy Familiy Church in Peoria on Feb. 1. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

On his way to New York City, James Twyman eagerly returned to Holy Family Church in Peoria, where his lifelong love of St. Francis of Assisi began — although he doesn’t use such gentle terms to describe it. Pointing to the chair in the sanctuary where he sat as an altar boy, he told those […]

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Little Disciples Preschool site is blessed at St. Mary, Pontiac; will open in August

Father Adam Cesarek, administrator, sprinkles holy water in blessing of the space that will house Little Disciples Preschool at St. Mary Parish and School next fall. A place of honor was reserved for the future preschoolers in front of the current students and parishioners after the Catholic Schools Week Mass on Jan. 31. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

PONTIAC — St. Mary Parish and School has taken the next step in building a strong community of disciples by blessing a space that will welcome the youngest among them. With Scripture, prayer and a sprinkling of holy water by Father Adam Cesarek, administrator, Little Disciples Preschool became the newest center for early childhood education […]

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Distinguished teacher invites his students to explore their world, faith

Jim Taber, who has taught at Central Catholic High School in Bloomington for 36 years and chaired the science department there for 35 of them, can't help but teach, even in conversation. Everything becomes a lesson in science and faith for the Distinguished Teacher of the Year. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

BLOOMINGTON — Jim Taber can’t help himself. Conversation with him is filled with lessons in biology, chemistry, botany, math and physics and it’s done in such a joyful and spontaneous way that anyone listening will learn something and be happy to do it. That’s a good thing for his students at Central Catholic High School, […]

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Peoria principal shares credit with team, community for top schools honor

During a classroom visit, St. Mark principal Noreen Dillon works on a word game with first-grader Tommy Tomlins. Helping people discover their strengths and use them is one of the reasons she went into teaching. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Dr. Noreen Dillon accepts that she has been named the Distinguished Principal of the Year by the Office of Catholic Schools, but says, “It really had nothing to do with me.” “It had more to do with the really good team I’m working with and the families that we have here supporting the school, and […]

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St. Thomas, Philo, opens Catholic Schools Week with the blessing of a new addition

St. Thomas principal Lisa Doughan thanks the many people who had a hand in the planning and construction of the new Trost Learning Center and Gymnasium, including the late Robert H. Trost, a major benefactor. Looking on is Father Keith Walder, pastor, and Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, who said he was proud of the work the parish had done to accomplish "the magnificent renewal of your school." The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

PHILO — After coming from the new Trost Learning Center and Gymnasium at St. Thomas School, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, had just one word as he started Mass Jan. 25: “Wow.” “I’m so proud of what God has done through you with that magnificent addition to the school,” he said as he greeted the […]

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‘Distinguished’ Rock Island pastor always ‘a big fan of Catholic education’

Msgr. Mark Merdian, pastor of St. Pius X in Rock Island, shows students from Jordan Catholic School what can be found in a sacristy. "As a priest, you're always teaching," said the Distinguished Pastor of the Year. (Provided photo)

ROCK ISLAND — Most Wednesday afternoons you can find Msgr. Mark Merdian at Jordan Catholic School, where he teaches religion. He had the seventh-graders before the Christmas break, and is working with the eighth-graders this semester. It’s not really an option for him. “Ever since I’ve become a pastor, I’ve made a commitment to teach […]

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Bishop urges students, veteran pro-lifers to find their strength in the Lord

Eighth-graders Bella Pinter and Kristina Penaverde of Peru Catholic School sing "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" as the Mass for the Unborn draws to a close Jan. 24. Joining them for the liturgy at St. Mary's Cathedral was their pastor, Msgr. Richard Soseman, who concelebrated. The Cathollic Post/Jennifer Willems

As students from Catholic high schools and Newman Centers around the Diocese of Peoria were preparing for the national March for Life in Washington, D.C., Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, and their classmates joined them in spirit and prayer during a Mass for the Unborn on Jan. 24. The annual liturgy took place at St. […]

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Diocesan pilgrims brave elements to be among 9,000 at March for Life Chicago

It was easy to pick out the pilgrims from the Diocese of Peoria among the 9,000 pro-life advocates in Daley Plaza in Chicago on Jan. 11. They were the ones letting everyone know that "Life Plays in Peoria" as March for Life Chicago began. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

CHICAGO — It was a tough year for respect life advocates in Illinois, still mourning the passage of the Reproductive Health Act that made abortion a fundamental right in the state. That didn’t stop March for Life Chicago, however. Organizers moved this year’s event to a bigger venue. According to their estimates, 9,000 people from […]

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God’s hand evident throughout 55 years of teaching for Sr. Janet Cassidy, OSB

For most of her 55 years in Catholic education, Sister Janet Cassidy, OSB, taught first and second grade. Now she serves as the math interventionist at Seton Catholic School in Moline. "My life has been blessed," she said. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

MOLINE — When Sister Janet Cassidy entered the Benedictine community at St. Mary’s Monastery in Nauvoo, she was willing to do whatever was asked of her. She just wanted to be a Sister. “I did not intend to become a teacher. They must have seen something in me that I did not see in myself,” […]

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